Landport Community Centre looks to the future with ‘optimism’ as it celebrates relaunch after refurbishment with MPs and Enable Ability trustees

A COMMUNITY centre unveiled its new look at a relaunch event in Landport today.

Sunday, 31st October 2021, 5:57 pm

Disability charity Enable Ability, which manages Landport Community Centre, welcomed guests to celebrate the centre’s relaunch following a refurbishment.

Around 25 visitors met with centre staff and facilities users, enjoyed a buffet, and toured around the centre which has recently been decorated and decked out with new furniture.

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Pictured: Penny Mordaunt MP, Alan Jenkins (Landport Community Centre Manager), Jon Muller (Chair of Trustees, Enable Ability), Stephen Morgan MP, Councillor Cal Corkery and Councillor Kirsty Mellor. Picture: Mike Cooter (311021)

Alan Jenkins, centre manager, said: ‘This is the culmination of two and a half years of hard work - we’re near enough where we want to be now.

‘We worked through the lockdown, providing support to the community.’

A room in the centre is dedicated to Ken Bowen, a late trustee of the charity.

Jon Muller, Enable Ability’s chair of trustees, said: ‘We’re feeling very optimistic.

Members of the 'What's It Like' video and photo workstream at Landport Community Centre. Pictured: Kenzie Mitchell (21) from Hilsea, Ewan Fothergill (21) from Copnor and Jack Grant (21) from Cosham. Picture: Mike Cooter (311021)

‘It’s been a difficult 18 months for everybody, but if you have a learning disability or you have autism, it triples the effect.

‘We’ve been trying to ease people back into services.

‘This is just the beginning.’

The centre hosts a number of different clubs, businesses, and groups and societies, including Scouts and a dance academy.

John Spinks (30) with one of the fundraiser slate cosaters he created using the decoupage technique. Picture: Mike Cooter (311021)

Hollie Sherred, partnerships and events officer at Enable Ability, said: ‘Today is all about the relaunch after the refurb.

‘Enable Ability have been running the centre for just over two years.

‘Here we are celebrating it with patrons of the charity, trustees, and other guests.’

Steve Austin (34), a participant working in the Repair Shop, shows one of his refurbished laptops to Stephen Morgan MP. Picture: Mike Cooter (311021)

Among those celebrating the community centre relaunch was Stephen Morgan, MP for Portsmouth South, and MP Penny Mordaunt, a patron of the charity.

Hollie added: ‘We’re trying to boost the centre and make people more aware of it.

‘We want to welcome those who have never been - we offer so many various services.

The Inter Activ programme, through which the centre’s cafe is run, is a social enterprise run by Enable Ability.

Jon added: ‘Enable Ability’s social enterprise aims to help young people with disabilities get into work.

‘We run a repair shop, a cafe, and a small video production company.’

The Landport Larder scheme is also run from the community centre.

Alan said: ‘The building is becoming a focal point for the Charles Dickens ward.’

A Christmas Fair will be held at the centre on December 5.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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